Using Leisure For Useful Research

For the past two months, I have been doing research in the field of community economic development. I am interviewing lots of people and getting referrals from them to other people. My idea is:

oto learn about the growing number of businesses who identify as socially-responsible. Such businesses might be trying to reduce their output of pollution, sell environmentally friendly cleaning products, implement affirmative action policies, develop partnerships with schools, or develop other such policies.

oto learn about economic models which exist on the fringe of the for-profit business world, and which strive toward an economic model that affirms people's commitment to each other and their environment. These include land trusts, community loan funds, community supported agriculture, cooperative consumer or worker organizations, and probably many more which I am still learning about.

oto explore these business people's ideas about why our economy is not flourishing. We talk about low self-esteem, people's desire for security, the lack of security in the world today, racism and sexism, the class system, a national program for health care, and much more.

I am quite busy with this self-designed job. I have meetings, write letters, make phone calls, and go to conferences. I am sorry that it will have to end (in its present format) when I find paid work.

My goal is to find work that is closer to the business community so that I get a good understanding of the way people in for-profit businesses are convinced to maintain the class structure. I also want to work on community organizing.

Andrea Walter
Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA

Last modified: 2015-07-21 10:05:31-07